What Is a Craft Brewer?
At the heart of The Brass Tap is a broad selection of hundreds of craft beers, with a combination of known and exotic brands in a variety of tastes and styles ensuring that there is an ideal beer for everyone. The rapid growth of the craft beer industry has occurred in the last two decades as beer has expanded beyond its historical target market and has reached a more affluent demographic due to the broad selection and unique flavoring of craft beer. This has led to an explosive growth in the number of breweries in the United States.
So what is craft beer and what is behind this growth?
Craft beer generally refers to beer that is brewed using traditional methods by small independent brewers.
- Traditional Methods: A brewer that generally utilizes traditional ingredients like malted barley. Distinctive and flavorful adjuncts are then used to enhance and create a distinctive flavor.
- Small: Annual production of less than 6 million barrels of beer.
- Independent: Less than 25% of the craft brewery is owned or controlled by an alcoholic beverage industry member who is not themselves a craft brewer
Microbrewery is a term for a small scale brewery that produces a small volume of beer and meets one of the three criteria for a craft brewery. However, craft brewery is more involved and describes an approach to brewing, which in principle may be carried out on any scale. Most microbreweries are also craft breweries; however "craft" beer can certainly also be a product of a large brewery, and there are many such products coming to market as a result of increased consumer interest in traditional beer.
Craft beer has experienced double digit annual revenue growth over the last two years at a time when the U.S. beer industry has been otherwise stagnant. Consumers continue to seek out new and interesting craft beers as they enjoy the ever increasing options.
Everyone enjoys a night out.
- The craft brewing industry grew by 12% in 2010 and 10% in 2009 (based on dollar volume) at a time when overall U.S. beer sales were down 1%.
- Craft brewers sold an estimated 9,951,956 barrels of beer in 2010
- Craft beer was 7.6% of all beer sales in 2010
- $7.6 billion in craft beer sales in 2010, of the $101 billion in total beer sales
- 1,753 breweries operated in 2010, the highest total since the late 1800s
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